Chapter 145
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We made it!
We're literally out in the clear right now!

But what now?
My strength already starts to dwindle.
My wings as well as my arms which are clinging to Kyska won't allow me to continue forever.
It helps that Kyska is totally stiff.
It's not just the flying without having wings in case she'd fall, but also the simple width of the surface that's overwhelming, or rather terrifying to her.
That much I could gather from her pheromones.

However, I need to come up with a plan, as I'm sure that it won't take long till my abductors will be after me.
Maybe they'll even find some horses.
In any case, I need to make the best out of my current position.

From up here I can see mountains.
That's important information, as this mountain range is so vast that I'm sure this is the northern edge that marks the border of Tarsona.
So this is north.

Valera should be somewhere in the west.
If what Lord Zion said was true, Honiu should've seized control over it.
In that case, this means we'll be golden if we can reach it.

The other possible direction would be the south where Osari and the main hive are located.
If I'd just find any kind of Formicea force, it would be great.
I can be sure they're at least scouring the country to find me.
Yet Lord Zion wouldn't have been so stupid to keep me anywhere close to where we have a strong presence, so I should expect a considerable distance.
This puts us at a disadvantage, as I can be sure that Lord Zion's soldiers will patrol every little place from here to our respective bases.
If not for us, then to be aware of a Formicean attack squad.

Regarding the other things I see from my current vantage point, there are fields, roads, some smaller settlements, and most prominently, a forest to the east.
I guess that's the best place to head to first before all my energy is spent and we'll be an easy-to-find target.
The last four of my little bugs as well feel as if they won't be able to go much farther.

Landing in this terrain is a bit more difficult than I'd like it to be.
Especially, with all the trees and branches in my way.
But one of the advantages of my terribly cumbersome triple-wing set is that it allows for great maneuverability.
However, I doubt that I'll be able to quickly lift off in a pinch with all these obstacles around us.
And the rest of my bugs won't be able to give our pursuers much of a fight.
While they're quite good at surprise attacks I... saw how they got easily neutralized.
I just had my brood die for me.
Maybe they did so willingly, but it doesn't help my guilty conscience.
I let my children die for me.
This thought is hard to accept.
But maybe not as hard as the realization that I just killed someone with my own hands and pushed another into an insect shredder!
Yes, they were the enemy, but what do I know about the circumstances they might've had?

I feel terrible.
I don't even know what about all of this is worse!
This is too much for me to be confronted with!


<My princess, please calm down! This is no time for this!> (K)


Kyska is right.
I can't be like this.
Not now.


<Scruh, scriak, skrik, scriek!/Hah! Sorry, I'm spent! Now that we got out of there we really need to figure out how to proceed from here on out. I really don't want to get captured again just after we made it. Do you have any ideas, Kyska?> (E)

<My princess, you should really abandon me and focus on reuniting with the swarm.> (K)


Logically, what Kyska says makes sense.
Not only because of the higher chance of success.
The more important point would be that I could send help as soon as I'd be able to call my brood.
I'm not even sure if she would outright get killed.
Lord Zion didn't seem like the type to act out of pure spite.
So it would be the smartest choice to go on my own.
However, in her state, I can be rather sure that Kyska would get recaptured.
In the best case, they would use her as a hostage.
Also, this position is not a safe one.
They might harm her only to cause a reaction from my side.
And I might give in.

I'm not even sure about what I want.
Can I really say that I'm absolutely fine with Tarsona getting conquered by Koreso?
After this episode, I feel deep contempt, but is this directed at all of this country's inhabitants?
There are innocent people.
Peasants, citizens, women, children!
None of them having done anything that would even remotely warrant punishment.

Yet pondering this now doesn't help.
We should get active.
This means walking somewhere before anyone catches up.
Maybe I can even switch between legs and wings to be quicker.
The question is where?


<Kyska, this is an order. For now, you ought to stay by my side. That being said, any idea where we should go now?> (E)

<My princess, I'm unfamiliar with the surface. I lack the knowledge to give resourceful advice.> (K)

<Well, the capital, you know, the big city where we were before, is there. The hive should be about in this direction, yet our chasers must know that we're aware of this and will just wait on the way.> (E)


After all, the mountains are just too prominent.
He can't believe I'm that stupid.

Kyska seems meanwhile to be lost in thought.


<Kyska?> (E)

<I just thought, if those paths are blocked maybe we should go there.> (K)


Well, they probably wouldn't expect this.
It might enable us to gain some more distance so that they'd lose our trail.


<Fine, but we need to decide when we change our course back to Valera.> (E)

<My princess. I didn't mean this as an option to circumvent our enemies. I meant it would be our destination.> (K)


Come again!?!


<I sense your confusion. Please, let me explain. Princess Chera's hive should be located in this direction. Some time has already passed since your capture, and if she partakes even the slightest bit in this great crisis, there'll be messengers scouting the area. At least there should by now be passages to the underworld. If we can reach them, I'm sure her forces will suffice to protect you from any chasers.> (K)


Woah, right, there are other princesses out there.
Even if I'm not sure about having the queen as my superior as weird as she is, I can see the appeal of being part of the swarm.
It means I can just request someone to help me out of this shitty situation.

Okay, so north it is.
But now that I think about it, our greatest advantage is that the enemy is probably not thinking that we have this option.
As of now, the information advantage is the best we have to stay in a favorable position.
And this means, it would be plain stupid to walk there.
Instead, we can do something far better.


<Okay, Kyska, we're doing it like this: For now, we will walk east, until my wings have recovered for another flight. Once this is possible we'll be flying straight north. So if they find our trail they'll be confused about the direction we took.> (E)


In the best case, they'll continue following us east and we can continue north undisturbed.


<As you wish, my princess. But as you still refuse to leave me behind, may I at least ask of you that we start moving?> (K)


Damn, she's right.
We’ve already stuck around here for too long.


<Yes, sure. > (E)


So we start walking.
I only hope that Kyska can keep up.




- Gioras Zion -





Finally, we were able to kill the last of these things.
I need to act quickly before it's too late.


"There! They're landing in the forest!" (soldier)

"What you're waiting for?! Form troops and get after her!" (G)

"Sir, the horses are all dead!" (officer)

"Then fetch them from somewhere else! Inform all the outside troops! Not a single man will rest before the princess is brought back here!" (G)


Now I need to address how it could come to this shit!


"Can anyone tell me what the fuck happened?!" (G)

"The, the princess escaped." (officer)

"Oh really? Thanks, I wouldn't have known without your input! Damnit! I want to know how this is possible." (G)


After this, I receive more and more fabulous reports.
Monsters that erupted out of Horatio's body, how the girl destroyed the door to her cell and took out all of her guards completely on her own.

So much for my plan!
I tried to take everything into account, setting up guards, building fortifications, and reinforcing the accommodations of the princess, but everything was for naught.
How could I have known that she would be able to just walk straight through solid metal?
Even stranger that this naive girl suddenly started killing people.
Not to speak of, in such a gruesome manner, coming from what I heard is left of Horatio.

However, it's not all lost yet.
We're far in the east here, close to the Koresoan border.
According to my information, the insect forces aren't anywhere close yet to our position.
Also, we have many troops in the vicinity to guard the roads.
There's still a chance to catch them before they can completely escape my influence.
There's still hope for my people!